Monday, March 23, 2009


Sometimes I must tune out the constant noise coming from the mouths of my children. Usually I just listen for the plaintive cries that mean someone is hurt. Those are usually are prefaced with a general scream/screech and in the worst cases a loud thump.

Saturday night I was visiting with J as we cooked supper. The kids were playing in the living room and I wasn’t paying a whole lot of attention. They weren’t fighting, but they were digging things out of the large drawers of my entertainment center.

Soon there were screeches. Then a couple screams that became more distressed. I finally realize that this isn’t going to go away and I head into the living room. I come in to find E-minion shoving the large bottom drawer closed as hard as she possibly can, but there’s a problem – a leg is sticking out and she’s slamming it and each time she does I-minion squeals.

Yes. My daughter was shutting her brother in a drawer. It was so hard not to laugh. After E-minion got a time out for hurting her brother and I-minion got calmed down we had the discussion about how it wasn’t OK to push her brother around and to not automatically do what the other suggests.

Thankfully I was able to avoid the “If your friends jumped off a bridge would you do it too?” scenario. Iminion then asked me what “Gullible” meant, because Eminion called him that before he crawled in the drawer.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

More Conversations with a now 3-year-old

Cast of Characters: I-minion, Mom
Setting: In the Garage, after we get home from day care

[I-minion picks up a 'Noah and the Arc' lift the flap book up from between the car seats and starts looking at it and identifying animals pictured.]
I-minion: Mama, who is this book about?
Mom: [Looking at the book] It's about Noah. Remember him?
I-minion: So, does this Noah guy, like "know things?"
Mom: [Rolls eyes] I suppose so. He knew he had to build the big boat and gather two of all of the animals.
I-minion: Yeah, but HOW does he know things?
Mom: I'm guessing God told him.
I-minion: Oh. OK.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Éirinn go brách!

As a girl who claims majority Irish ancestory, today is a day to celebrate heritage. Instead of imbibing with a bit of green beer or exciting revelry, I'm marking the occassion with either A) A Guiness or B) A nice glass of Irish Whiskey, neat. I don't know which will be the beverage of choice tonight.

Here's an Irish Blessing that my mother taught me when I was a little girl:

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And may you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows you're dead.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Weekend by the Numbers:

42 Hamburger buns munched down
24 Eggs served over-easy
11 Steaks grilled
9 People sleeping in my house
5 Naps taken and we’re not talking about the 3-year-olds -- they didn't nap
5 Pounds of chicken wings consumed
5 Pounds of potatoes baked
4 Onions sacrificed for lunch
4 Uncles (including a few of the “great” variety and I’m not referring to their status)
4 Comments made regarding either A) the need for waders because the BS was getting a little thick or B) the need to install a floor drain in the living room to wash the BS down.
3 Pounds of raw baby carrots eaten with both Ranch and Blue Cheese Dressing
3 Gallons of milk gulped down
2 ½ Pounds of ground beef turned into taverns
2 Heads of cauliflower eaten with both Ranch and Blue Cheese Dressing
2 Heads of broccoli eaten with both Ranch and Blue Cheese Dressing
2 Jam sessions with guitar and ukulele
2 Rolls of TP flushed (Hello septic system, are you OK?)
2 Accidents by the newest potty trainee because she couldn't get into the potty in time
1 Pound of cheese of the Co-Jack and Baby Swiss variety consumed
1 Can of coffee (don’t ask how many pots the Bunn was asked to provide)
1 Door knob, dismantled
1 Aunt (also of the great variety)
1 Gwampa
1 High school-aged cousin
and her boyfriend (All of the males said the same thing in their best Mr. Burns impression “Excellent. Fresh meat.”)

To numerous to count:
Pots of ice tea made and consumed
Beer drunk (I went to bed before much of it was guzzled after I went to bed. I’m guessing Uncle Dan did put much of it away, considering I didn’t see him much on Sunday)

Lessons Learned:

  • I am my family. My laugh, gestures, sense of humor and in some aspects, my looks, comes from the family. It is obvious that I have passed many of these traits on to my children, since I see them in some of their actions and tone of voice.
  • Expect the living room to be filled with laughter, maybe a few tears when you say (while standing in the laundry room) “No, you can’t have the screwdriver back. You took the door knob off.”
  • Expect the uncles to love the story that your almost-2-year-old got kicked out of day care for a day because he bit someone and drew blood.
  • Expect lots of stories about the horribly embarrassing things that I’ve been credited with over the last 29 years – including several my husband has never heard.
  • My kitchen works can work as a good buffet set up.
  • My table can accommodate 12 people sitting around it -- if I can locate that many chairs.

Monday, March 9, 2009

One Day After the Time Change

6:20 a.m. J stumbles out of the bed; questions whether a spot he thinks he sees on the wood floor in our bedroom is blood (from the dog); decides it isn’t and heads down stairs. I'm left questioning what was a blood spot and if there was a spot, why did he leave it. For the record, Rocky frequently bleeds in our room.

6:30 a.m. I realize the likelihood of the college calling a snow day are pretty slim. Yes, we got several inches of snow, sleet and freezing rain, but it all melted less than 6 hours later.

6:32 a.m. I stumble downstairs wondering why the kids aren’t up yet and silently rejoice.

6:45 a.m. I finish the morning routine in the bathroom, deciding that my hair doesn’t look too Medusa-like and confine it with a head band. I stalk out to the laundry room dreading that I probably have a dryer full of wrinkled clothes that should have been hung up yesterday.

6:46 a.m. I rejoice that my husband hung up the entire load of clothes. Find my favorite black pair of pants, and a shirt – any shirt. I settle on a pink v-necked sweater with three-quarter length sleeves.

6:47 a.m. I am dressed and putting my shoes on. J isn’t dressed yet.

6:49 a.m. I flick on my hot water pot to make tea to take to work. I tripped over one of the dogs and stepped on the cat.

6:50 a.m. I start assembling my knitting for Knit Night tonight, putting the kids backpacks, snow pants and shoes all together. I realize Edie’s snow boots are still SOAKING wet from our adventure yesterday outside.

6:55 a.m. J heads up stairs to wake the kids up, apparently the time change has gotten them.

6:56 a.m. The screaming begins.

6:57 a.m. J comes downstairs with mole baby (Eminion) and a screaming Iminion. He also has their big Kelli blankets and their clothes. [No this isn't theirs, it a sample of the wonders that polyester and flannel can do]

6:58-7:12 a.m. The screaming continues. J wrestles the kids into their clothes. Ian finally calms down.

7:13 a.m. This is the normal time I herd the kids out the door. Iminion tromps out to the laundry room, reluctantly puts his boots on. Throws a small fit about putting his coat on, thinking I won’t zip it for him.

7:14 a.m. The screaming continues. Gently remind him that I’ll help him zip it up. Gather up my knitting bag, purse, tea cup, and grocery bag full of snow pants to haul to the car.

7:15 a.m. J is helping Eminion to put her coat on. She hands me her boots and says “They’re still Weeet” in all the whine a 3-year-old can muster that early in the morning.

7:18 a.m. I walk out the door with a second load of crap to haul to the car; including Eminion’s wet boots. I was feeling quite like a pack mule at the time. Iminion follows because he wants to be buckled up.

7:19 a.m. I dump the load, buckle him up. He complains he’s cold. I forgot to let the car warm up.

7:20 a.m. I meet Eminion standing in the doorway. “Carry me!” she demands. I refuse, she melts into the floor of our dirty nasty garage. I walk past her, to get the last thing, the kids’ blankets.

7:22 a.m. I say good-bye to J and walk out the door. Eminion is in full on fit.

7:23 a.m. I realize I’m so very, very late. I pick her up. Haul her out and put her in the car seat.

7:24 a.m. I discover how flexible Eminion’s back is, based on how much arch she is able to get while fighting me. Iminion is crying because he’s cold. I pull his blanket on him.

7:25 a.m. The screaming continues. I can hear it when all of the doors are shut. I tell J I’m glad I only have to take them ¾ of a mile to drop them off at day care. He’s putting the dogs in the kennel.

7:26 a.m. I sit down, buckle up and start the car. I am serenaded for the entire trip to day care.

7:35 a.m. Finally get out of day care and begin the trip to the office, contending with slick roads, fog and a general foul humor.

8:10 a.m. I arrive at work. I am now puzzling the importance of switching to daylight savings time, and how much good it really does us.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

More Conversations with a now 3-year-old

Cast of Characters: E-minion, Mom
Setting: Garage, in the morning while getting ready to go to day care.

Mom: Hop in your chair so I can buckle you up.
[E-minion jumps in her and Mom leans over to buckle her up]
E-minion: Your hair smells good.
Mom: Really, what does it smell like?
E-minion: Rat food.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Nothing is safe, anymore

Iminion has an uncanny ability to see and understand how things work. He mastered pounding nails into boards at about 18 months -- that is, if he could find a knot hole, or some other flaw in the board to hold the nail in place. By the age of 2 he could pound in a whole line of nails in a 2-by-4, without any prior holes. To this day, I almost think he is more accurate with a hammer than than I am.

In the last two months he's conquered the skill necessary to twist a screw into a board. This skill has manifested in ways ultimately more useful than pounding nails. Iminion discovered he could remove the screws holding his toys together and the theoretically well designed battery compartment lid.

He decided to change the batteries in his police car. After scrounging up a phillips screwdriver, that's exactly what he did.

Tonight while putting laundry away, he'd found a little screw driver that comes with assemble-yourself-furniture and he decided to remove the brackets that hold the shelving unit in his closet. I discovered this when he had four screws out.
He loves to "fix" and he knows where all the tools are located -- especially mine. My tools are kept in "sanctuary" to protect them from tool raiders. J, my husband is a known plunderer of tools and it appears Iminion is too.

Everyone encourages it. Iminion and his Uncle Dan assembled a bird feeder after opening Christmas presents.

This summer he was all about building and fixin'.

Heaven help me when he is capable of even more than this.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Proof, I really do knit

Finally I have proof that I really am a knitter. Last week I started the Irish Diamond Shawl based on Cheryl Oberle's Folk Shawls book. It was an amazing gift. Leafing through the pages I was instantly taken by this Irish Diamond Shawl.

I picked up the yarn, Kraemer Sterling and Silk in the colorway "red carpet." It feels so Old Hollywood glam. The silver flecks are actual sterling silver.

I cast on a week ago, and ended up frogging, or ripping out the entire work because I was convinced that I had messed up the yarnovers. After frogging how many thousand stitches -- I'd cry if I actually knew -- I cast on, and knit the neck band, and three repeats in about three and a half hours. Each repeat takes just over an hour.

I have finally memorized the eight row repeat, considering that it stays the same until I have 15 diamonds in each section of the shawl.

Once completed it should measure about 54 inches square.

Oh, those green threads and white threads that look like dental floss, are my life lines. If I mess up, I'll be able to unravel to that point and easily pick up the stitches. I learned during my last foray into knitting that I should keep them in place for more than one pattern repeat, however, five might be a bit much. . .